Tag: Hanoi


HaLong Bay, Gulf of Tonkin, Vietnam

15th June

Surrounded by the velvety green waters of HaLong Bay is a vast collection of sculptured limestone pillars.   The megaliths appear as if centurions on duty patiently bearing witness to the increasing numbers of visitors and tourists who find their way first to Hanoi and then to the Gulf of Tonkin and its beautiful bay.

Tour companies promote excursions to this phenomenon of nature and researchers acknowledge its ecosystem and its biological importance as UNESCO’s seventh geological wonder of the world but words fall short and photos capture only the solitary stillness of the place. One must breathe of the perfumed air and be close enough to touch the ancient and rocky and ever-changing surface to truly experience the power and presence of the Pillars.

Visitors to the bay – young and old alike come from around the world to bear witness to the promise of grandeur that awaits them.

On a recent excursion, travelers included a husband and … Read More »



Nga’s Letter – Growing Up Along the Red River

8th June

 

On Jun 3, 2015, at 22:38, Thanh Nga Hoang wrote:

Good Morning Marie!

I’ve just read your blog about your amazing experience in Vietnam!

Maybe you don’t know this but my hometown is alongside The Red River. I love that place but I am scared of the river’s strength.

I remember when the water became high, the narrow village road was slippery. My mother and I each tried to press our ten toes on the ground as if we were lizards on the wall.

My favorite childhood memories are of riding on the back of my mother’s  bicycle and going with her on the village road to visit our relatives.

The Red River Delta  is fertile with wide fields on either side in the country where  farmers spend long days without a break from their labor or relief from the heat. I remember as a child when we heard that the floods were coming, the farmers and … Read More »



The Red River, Hanoi

2nd June

 

The Red River, even in the light haze of early morning, is clearly visible from a window high above central Hanoi. Similar to the pattern of life in much of Vietnam, the people here are awake and on the move at this early predawn hour.  This is a routine shaped by the climate in an attempt to escape the suffocating high heat and humidity of mid day and early afternoon.

My hotel is the Chalcedony on Nguyen Truong To. Upon return to Hanoi in a few years, this will be my preference for accommodations while in the city. For the few extra U.S. dollars it is well worth the overnight escape from the crush of people and the chaos of the surrounding heat of the city during the height of the tourist season.  And at 4:30 this morning I heard a rooster (I am on the fifth … Read More »






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